Last year, Kaitlin Hunt and her 3-month-old baby came to stay with relatives in Georgia when Hurricane Irma threatened their home.
Within the first hours of her visit in Georgia, Hunt was holding her baby as she and a friend attempted to cross Arnold mIll Road. The three of them were struck by an SUV driven by Zoe Reardon. According to reports, the baby died the night of the crash, and the two women died a few days after.
Investigators assigned to the case determined that Reardon, a teenager local to Georgia, was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol and was not driving recklessly. Reardon stated that she never saw the pedestrians, who were wearing dark clothing and were crossing an area of the road that had no traffic lights or any other safety measures. The fatal accident happened after the sun had set.
Reardon was sentenced to 36 months on probation and ordered to complete 240 hours of community service and safe driver training. She owes $4,000 in fines that she can reduce if she donates to a foundation that works to combat distracted driving, and her license will be suspended for between 12 and 36 months.
Vehicular Homicide in Georgia
Georgia Law defines vehicular homicide in Georgia by dividing the offense into two separate degrees in O.C.G.A. §40-6-393.
First degree vehicular homicide occurs when, without malice aforethought, a death is caused by the person either unlawfully passing a school bus, reckless driving, fleeing or attempting to elude a police office, or leaving the scene of the accident.
Second degree vehicular homicide occurs when death results due to a violation of any other statute other than the ones specified for homicide in the first degree. This is the offense that Reardon has pleaded guilty to this past week.
Misdemeanor-grade vehicular homicide happens when a death is the result of a violation of basic traffic laws. Conviction of a misdemeanor vehicular homicide can result in up to 12 months in jail and fines up to $1,000.
Felony-grade vehicular homicide happens most of the time when a death is the result of DUI in Georgia or Reckless Driving in Georgia. Conviction of a felony vehicular homicide may warrant up to 15 years in prison.
The reality is that any situation that results in the death of another human being is horrific and heartbreaking. Vehicular homicide is one of the most serious charges in the Georgia legal system. The surviving driver may not be responsible, which is one of the most difficult findings to comprehend.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact a Georgia DUI Attorney today.